Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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The place to be
Sunday, December 8, 2013
By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor
If you live in outside the city limits, you are privy to a whole new country club your town counterparts cannot imagine.
It’s the trash dump.
Officially, they are called convenience centers. That probably is supposed to mean they make it convenient for you to get rid of your trash.
Another use you can read into it, apparently, is that it is a convenient place to hang out, catch up on conversation with acquaintances, get interesting stuff and either worry about or cause more problems for the poor cats.
It also is a good place to practice the discus throw. It’s not so easy to heft a heavy bag above shoulder height. Start low; prepare to power up the shoulder; swing high and heave that bag over the edge of the receptacle.
Seventy-five percent of the time it makes it. Sometimes it clunks and falls to the ground, and you try again. The worst is when it hangs on to the edge, items in the bag weighing down each side, making it hard to remove to try again.
People with pickup trucks trade in the potential shoulder strain of the trash-bag throw for perhaps a popped knee as they clamber on up to the bed of the pickup. There they can stand and drop in the bags from an easier reach.
There always are cats, and perhaps the occasional ground hog or raccoon who avails himself of the cat food. A few dedicated souls keep filled with cat food the paper plates that are weighted down with rocks. The good Samaritans also fill old containers with water.
Who, on the other hand, are those cold-hearted sneaks who, when no one is looking, dump out the latest load of kittens destined to live out their short lives eaten from the inside out, and the outside in, by parasites, and freeze in the winter, and starve the days no one brings food?
Besides the cats, there are a few other regulars. These are the guys who pick through stuff seeing what can be saved, either to be recycled or to be sold second-hand. They maintain regular hours just like someone at a company. Thanks to them, materials have second lives, fewer things are wasted, and less trash goes to the landfill.
From spending some time trapping cats to get them spayed, I’ve gotten to know some of these guys. Our neighborhood dump has a newcomer. He is a polite teenager who always is excited about his finds. One day he told me there was a new, perfectly nice umbrella. He got a trash bag out of a Dumpster, got out the umbrella and handed it to me.
He was right: It looks and works great.
Then he showed me a picture he had taken from the trash. It was a dreadful poster of a rose inside a brandy glass in a flimsy gold-toned frame. I was worried he was giving that to me, also.
“Oh, no!” he said. “I’m going to put that up in my room.”
Some convenience centers have a “take it or leave it” table. People put out items they no longer need for other people to take.
That works out great — just as long as people don’t leave any more cats.